Each Wednesday morning is spent doing “Special Readers”. This is the time when two children come prepared to read a picture book to their classmates. There are so many reasons why this is a valuable activity. Here are just a few.
It enhances fluency. If children are to become fluent readers, they need practice. Preparing to read a text aloud with expression provides children with the time and means to recognize words automatically and to read a text with a high percentage of accuracy.
It strengthens comprehension. When children use techniques for expressive oral reading, their comprehension of what they are reading dramatically increases. By practicing a text, children will become more familiar with its words, sentence patterns and structure – and that leads to discoveries about the meaning.
Other important reading skills are developed as well, like grammar, memory, attention and sequencing. Reading well takes time, focus and attention. Struggling readers become more confident because repeated practice improves their accuracy and word recognition abilities.
Lastly, we learn to be a good and kind audience. This is perhaps the most difficult part. Listening with our ears, eyes and (most of all) our hearts is something that I hold dear.
You can help your child by guiding them to pick out an appropriate book (picture books are generally the best, as chapter books tend to lose the interest of the audience) and having them practice, practice, practice. I tell the children that I practice reading a new book aloud before reading it to them, so I expect them to practice also. It really helps their fluency, and increases enjoyment by both audience and reader.
Today, Clara kindly took the first turn. She is an old hand at this, having had a year of practice already.
Here is the roster for the next seven weeks - mark your calendars!
September 17 - Noa and Skye
September 24 - Eliza and Etienne
October 1 - Claude and Ben
October 8 - Mia and Maya
October 15 - Jiajia and Marcel
October 22 - Sena and Max
October 29 - Lily and Spenser